Q:

Where does hydrogen peroxide come from?

A:

Hydrogen peroxide can be manufactured in a number of different ways, but the most common methods involve the reaction of oxygen with isopropyl alcohol and anthraquinone. Some of the uses of hydrogen peroxide include as a bleaching agent and in the manufacture of other chemicals.

Hydrogen peroxide also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make it useful for a variety of medical and cosmetic purposes. However, the chemical has to be severely diluted for uses, as solutions containing more than 8 percent hydrogen peroxide are corrosive to the skin.

Most commercial grades of the chemical contain somewhere between 35 and 90 percent hydrogen peroxide in a solution of water and trace amounts of stabilizers.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is hydrogen peroxide an acid or a base?

    A:

    Hydrogen peroxide is slightly acidic pH of 6.2 and is, therefore, similar to milk or rain water. That is the pH of hydrogen peroxide at full concentration; all hydrogen peroxide solutions sold commercially are diluted and are more acidic because they actually have a lower pH.

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  • Q:

    Is hydrogen peroxide flammable?

    A:

    Hydrogen peroxide is non-flammable, however it can support combustion, so should still be kept away from direct heat sources or other flammable materials. It is a colorless liquid with a pungent smell and is chemically stable at room temperature.

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  • Q:

    Does hydrogen peroxide expire?

    A:

    Hydrogen peroxide, which is a weak acid, does expire. If the container remains sealed, it retains its full strength for about one year. However, once the container has been opened, hydrogen peroxide lasts for only 30 to 45 days.

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  • Q:

    How do you neutralize hydrogen peroxide?

    A:

    Hydrogen peroxide will naturally decompose into water and oxygen when exposed to sunlight, but it can also be rendered inert by adding oxalic acid, active carbon or many other mild acids. Hydrogen peroxide is more basic than acidic, so if it is necessary to neutralize it faster than it would automatically neutralize in sunlight, one must add some type of acid to bring its pH level value closer to 7.

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